Tag Archives: Wizard Dojo

This is an Update

Hello people!

This is just an update to inform my dear readers that my reviews, lists, and other such nonsense will continue soon enough (and I have a thing about not updating this site for nearly a week). I had to put some things on hold due to some unforeseen emergencies, but I will keep on keeping on.

In short, sorry updates have been sparse this past week, I’ll get back to business as soon as possible. Reviews, top 5/10 lists, the whole shebang!

I have a list of video games and movies I hope to review soon – including, as stated in a previous blog, the remaining 9.5 and perfect 10/10 games I’ve played – as well as a few ideas for top 5/top 10 lists that I’d like to get to. And of course there’s my annual Christmas/Anniversary special. So I hope you look forward to all of that, as well as what I have in store for 2018, including my long-awaited list of all-time favorite video games (which will probably be ready in February…or March…or April).

Sorry again for the delays. Keep on keeping on.

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Warning: Positivity Approaching!

Well dang, here we are again. I’m writing another blog about my long-delayed, soon-impending list of favorite video games of all time. And yes, I’m well aware that “soon-impending” is redundant.

So why am I writing about this again? For a very simple reason, I hope to review the remainder (or, at the very least, most) of the games I’d score a perfect 10 or a ‘near-perfect’ 9.5 before then. Since I still hope to make my official list in February, I better get cracking at them.

Suffice to say I’ll start to look a little more like an easy grader, considering I’ll have to pop a few of these high scoring reviews out in the next couple of months. But seeing as I can think of only a handful of additional titles that I’d give top honors to, I guess that means there could be an extensive dry spell of 9.5s and 10s after the fact (unless 2018 somehow repeats 2017’s ludicrous high quality in game design).

I actually have a short list of the games I need to review. Some are more fresh in the memory, and I know they’ll score highly. Others I haven’t played in a while, and need to revisit to see if they hold up. Thankfully, a handful of these games are readily available to me via the SNES Classic Edition.

Don’t worry, I still plan on reviewing some more recent games as well. I’ve been meaning to review Persona 5, Nioh, Nier: Automata, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, and Metroid: Samus Returns for a while now. So hopefully I can get those done soon as well. Not to mention I just picked up Pokemon UltraSun and UltraMoon versions, so I should review at least one of those within the next while. And of course I still plan on catching up on my animated movie reviews, and it would be nice to review the Star Wars movies in time for The Last Jedi if possible.

Okay, I’m just rambling at this point. Mostly, I guess I just wanted to give a little update seeing as I haven’t written anything in nearly a week. So I hope you enjoyed this post, and look forward to my future reviews. Even if I may be squeezing in some all-time greats close together.

Thanks for Proving my Point (I Guess?)

In the almost three years that I’ve been running the Dojo, there was only ever one comment (not including spam or comments that were automatically filtered by WordPress) that I didn’t approve for the site, for reasons that it was basically insane. I did, however, write a blog post about said comment, and included the comment in full within said blog. That way, I could acknowledge the comment, without giving its trollish commentator the ability to potentially flood my site with more such nonsense. I’m all for hearing different opinions, but as long as I’m able to monitor this site, I kind of want to make sure the comments section is, at the very least, within the realms of sanity.

Now, I’ve come across another comment that I may let go by the wayside, but will nonetheless acknowledge here. Now, to be fair, this particular comment is nowhere near as bad as the other one (this one actually seems like it was written by a human). The wording and grammar are perfectly fine, but the problem with it is that it – in trying to make a point of its own – only solidifies the point I made in the post the comment was on, to an almost embarrassing level of irony, while also resorting to some hypocritical insults.

The comment in question was written in response to my recent post about the gaming community tends to cry foul every time a Nintendo game gets exceptional reviews, and condemn all reviewers as simply being biased and nostalgia blind for Nintendo.

Well, here is the comment in full.

I think the first sentence perfectly encapsulates the issue. Gamers, Nintendo fans in particular, have a tendency to be immature. Nintendo’s staples, with their saccharine color palette and mawkish music, appeal perfectly to the child in them. I’m a live and let live kind of person, so others enjoying childish games like Mario and Zelda is no skin off my back, but there’s a certain circling the wagons approach to Nintendo that raises their review scores well above what you’d expect for an identical game free of the 25 year old strings and 7 year old sentiments, as if Nintendo needs the protection lest they fall into 3rd party obscurity.

The Witcher 3 is a greater accomplishment than any Nintendo game, yet it sits at a relatively modest 92/93.”
It’s a bit cringeworthy, especially considering the commenter is attempting to put on an air of maturity, yet resorts to writing off gaming critics as little more than man-children with “7 year old sentiments” who are blinded by nostalgia, and thus are biased for Nintendo.
It’s like the commenter didn’t even read my whole post, otherwise they might have realized the comment they were making only proved the very point I was trying to make with it. It’s also pretty funny that they claim to be a “live and let live” kind of person, before entirely dismissing gaming critics as being a bunch of childish fanboys.
Now, it’s good that the commenter at least read the first sentence of my blog, because I’ve stated many times that the gaming community is often immature. But then the rest of the comment only showcases that very same immaturity I was referring to.
I mean, come on, how can any reasonable human being think an entire profession of people are all just a bunch of ignorant fanboys? The commenter is quick to point out how there’s a “wagons approach” that lends to Nintendo games getting much higher review scores than “identical games without 25 year old strings and 7 year old sentiment” (take that children!). But what “identical” games is he referring to exactly? I can’t think of any games that are identical to Mario, Zelda or Metroid. Does he mean games of the same genre? If that’s the case, wouldn’t The Witcher 3, a game the commenter clearly likes, be “identical” to Skyrim and GTA and other open-world games, seeing as it’s part of the same genre?
It’s hilarious, really, how people like this just think that any praise Nintendo games receive just exists in some kind of bubble. As if nothing Nintendo does is actually any good, but reviewers just tell themselves otherwise as part of some conspiracy or something. Did it ever occur to them that maybe, just maybe, the reason Nintendo games get high praise is because these games are good? Besides, it’s not like every game that has “Mario” in the title receives perfect scores, and plenty of Nintendo games get mediocre and even bad reviews. But, uh oh, Super Mario Odyssey is one of the most acclaimed games of all time. Clearly it’s just critics trying to push forward some fictional agenda. Because obviously the prospect of every video game critic being a biased fanboy is more realistic than the individual leaving the comment having a clear bias against something.
Perhaps the commenter is simply annoyed because he doesn’t like Nintendo games, and it just so happens that Nintendo has made some of the most acclaimed games of all time? On Gamerankings, a good chunk of the top 10 best reviewed games ever have “Mario” and “Zelda” in the title. But you know what else takes up a good chunk of the top 10? Grand Theft Auto.
Now, call me crazy, but GTA seems pretty different in tone than the “saccharine and mawkish” worlds of Nintendo. And the publications who review GTA are the same ones that review Mario and Zelda, so is GTA somehow part of this “7 year old sentiment” as well? Maybe, just maybe, critics think that Mario, Zelda and GTA are consistently great, and represent the best that their genres have to offer, and so they rate them as such? But nah, they’re all just Nintendo biased. Because how else could something like Mario or Zelda possibly get good reviews?
Also, another humorous tidbit is how the commenter ends by remarking that The Witcher 3 is a “greater accomplishment than any Nintendo game, yet it sits at a relatively modest 92/93.” So the guy who’s dismissing every last video game critic as being biased is also passing off his subjective opinion as an absolute fact? Got’cha.
Seriously, it’s actually really funny how these people always perform the same song and dance. “Nintenda james is fer kids! Them critics is all biased cuz nostalgia! My opinion is fact!” 
Okay, writing it like that is a bit belittling on my part. But come on, that’s how it starts to sound after a while. I mean, the fact that people honestly have the “everyone else is biased except for me” idea when it comes to Nintendo getting good reviews is beyond ludicrous. It’s a flat-out black helicopters, conspiracy theory mentality.
Video game critics review video games. They give the ones they think are good good reviews, and the ones they think are bad get bad reviews. It just so happens that Mario, Zelda and GTA (which has nothing to do with Nintendo) happen to be the most consistent in getting strong reviews. There’s no conspiracy about it. You don’t have to like every game the critics like, but if you honestly think everyone but yourself is in the wrong for liking something, well, maybe you should rethink your outlook on the subject.

Happy Halloween 2017

Happy Halloween, good peoples! Sorry, I didn’t get the time to make a top 5 “Halloween-esque whatever in video games” list this time around. Hopefully I can make up for that in the future. In the meantime, enjoy this picture of my Totoro and Noface Jack ‘O’ Lanterns.

Yeah, Totoro’s eyes are totally uneven, but hey, I never claimed to be a pumpkin-carving expert. And practice makes perfect. Happy Halloween! Sorry again for the lack of a proper Halloween post, I’ll make up for it some way down the road.

Wizard Dojo Interviews YouTube’s Arlo!

What’s that? Wizard Dojo is doing interviews now? Evidently so! Allow me to introduce the first-ever Wizard Dojo interview, with none other than Arlo from the YouTube! Everyone’s favorite fuzzy, blue monster video game reviewer was kind enough to take the time to sit down with the Dojo for this interview (I totally didn’t just send him direct messages on Twitter and wait for a response), and shared with the Dojo answers to some lingering questions about his gaming tastes, preferences, and history. Be sure to check out Arlo’s YouTube channel for more of the much-needed quality content and insight he brings to the gaming community.

But here I am rambling. You’re here for Arlo. Okay, okay, here’s the interview.


WD. What made you want to start making YouTube videos?

Arlo: I’ve been interested in video production since I was a kid–playing around with my dad’s camera, making silly little bits and animation pieces, that sort of thing. When Youtube started to become popular it seemed like the natural way to make videos that could finally be seen by people. So I suppose the answer is is that Youtube existing made me want to start making Youtube videos, ha.

WD. How long have you been a gamer?

Arlo: My first console was the Sega Genesis and my first two games were Sonic 2 and Sonic & Knuckles, so I must have been seven or eight. I turn thirty this year, making me something like twenty-two years a gamer.

WD. What are your three favorite video game franchises?

Arlo: If I’ve got to boil it down I’ll say Pikmin, Zelda, and Metroid. Either Mass Effect or Paper Mario would have bumped down Metroid if certain things hadn’t, eh…let’s say “happened to them.”

WD. What series would you say you have the biggest love/hate relationship with?

Arlo: Hey, I think I smell a loaded question! Yeah, it’s probably Paper Mario. There are plenty of series that have caused me both great joy and great sorrow, but Paper Mario might be the biggest one. Thousand Year Door set the bar so high that anything other than pure greatness would forever let me down.

WD. Has any gaming console particularly influenced your taste in gaming?

Arlo: All my favorite consoles are Nintendo ones, and I’ve consistently loved Nintendo games, so technically I don’t think I can say any of them specifically had a big impact on my tastes per se. The Xbox 360 was probably the biggest influencer, because it was what introduced me to all sorts of new genres. I thought I was a Nintendo guy through and through and stayed away from shooters and stuff like that, but after getting a 360 for Rock Band and Guitar Hero I started to try out stuff like Mass Effect and Bioshock. Over time that kind of led into other non-Nintendo series as well, and now I feel that I enjoy more types of games than ever. The 360 opened a door away from Nintendo, in a sense.

WD. Is there any game most people dislike that you secretly (or not so secretly) enjoy?

Arlo: Probably Star Fox Adventures. It’s a terrible Star Fox game, and it’s packed with quirks that drag the whole experience down, but there’s just something endearing about it. I have a natural love of adventure games, and there’s a little nostalgia factor in there, plus all the weird voice acting and dinosaur language… Something about it just sits right with me, even if on something of a shallow level. I’ll never tell you it’s a great game, but it’s fun to sit down with every once in a while.

WD. You are obviously very excited about the announcement of Metroid Prime 4, what’s another dream game you’d like to see become a reality?

Arlo: The obvious answer is a true “Paper Mario 3,” but according to Nintendo there’s no way that will happen. Then my mind jumps to Pikmin 4, but that’s basically confirmed already. So let’s see, Resident Evil already went back to being good, Super Mario Odyssey is just about everything I could want in a Mario game, Mass Effect is dead… This is hard! I think I’ll just go with “Metroid 5.” A new, original 2D Metroid with some of the grand, cinematic elements introduced in Other M but with the truly open format of Super. And if we’re really talking dream material here, a 3D Mario where you go on a straight-up adventure like in Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi, with hammers and towns and a story and all that.

WD. The big question (if you don’t mind revealing this here)… Top 5 favorite games of all time?

Arlo: It’s like impossible to nail down the five best ones, but I’m going to start listing my favorite games until I run out of spaces:

Metroid Prime

Twilight Princess

Pikmin 2

Mass Effect

Resident Evil 4

WD. Any closing words you’d like to say to your fans?

Arlo: As always, the most important thing to say is thanks! I can’t even believe that there are so many awesome, supportive people out there that like to watch videos featuring my ugly mug, and I can’t possibly thank you all enough!


Many, many thanks to Monsieur Arlo for taking the time for this interview. Once again, you can find all of Arlo’s fantastic content at his YouTube channel. It’s well worth it.

The 600th Blog Spectacularsaurus!

Am I going to re-use Bobby Roode’s theme music on all of my centennial blogs? Probably. Because it’s GLORIOUS!

 

That’s right, my dear childrens, I have now amassed 600 blogs here at the Dojo! Please, no need for applause. Just throw money.

Technically speaking, this is the 604th overall blog on this site, thanks to the recent efforts of AfterStory, who is so kind to help contribute to my Dojo. But we’re keeping our milestones separated, because it’s easier to keep track of. And since this is my 600th blog, I’m celebrating.

 

 

To be honest, this milestone post may be a relatively short one, seeing as I have a number of reviews I want to get to writing. Plus, this is the 600th blog. Seems kind of like a decently random milestone, at least when compared to 500.

Am I just making excuses for laziness? Maybe. But those reviews aren’t going to write themselves, you know. I’m totally going to write more meaningful content once I’m done here. I’m not just going to go eat a sandwich or something.

 

You can never eat too many sandwiches.

Come to think of it, I’m actually surprised I’ve managed to reach this 600th blog milestone right now. I started Wizard Dojo back on Christmas day of 2014, so I’ve managed to reach this mark in a little under three years. Am I that dedicated? Or do I just have too much time on my hands?

Well, whatever the case, I’m happy I’ve managed to maintain this site in the way I have. I know, that sounds like I’m giving myself a pat on the back, but with the way I’ve seen blogs come and go, I’m happy that I’ve been able to continuously share my opinions and critiques on the things I love. I know some people just don’t have the time to maintain their sites, and that’s perfectly understandable, life has gotten in the way of my own writings quite frequently. But I always want to make sure I have some new content as frequently as possible, so that the kind people who take their time to read what I write have a little something to enjoy (that, and I’m an opinionated bastard, so I have no shortage of things to write about).

So thank you, dear readers. You make every update I make worth it. I hope you find some interest and/or entertainment from the Wizard Dojo. I love video games and movies, so hopefully, that love shows in the things I write.

I must admit, I’m not sure how much longer I can keep up this pace. Now now, no need to fear, I’ll keep the updates coming, but if I ever want to actually make a video game of my own some day, I have to dedicate more of my spare time to that. Again, I’ll keep this site alive no matter what it takes, but making my own video game(s) is something of a dream of mine, so I have to pursue that as well.

But that’s a little bit down the road. I hope to maintain at least a similar flow of updates for the rest of 2017 anyway. I have a number of video games that need a reviewin’, and I also think I’ll soon be dedicating a bit more of this site to animated movies. I feel I used to have a decent balance on which subject I wrote about between games and animation, but this past year or so seems like video games have completely taken the focus on this site. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I love video games. But I would like to reclaim some of that balance. Perhaps after I hit 300 game reviews, or when I finally make my list of favorite games, I’ll shift some of that focus back. I don’t know. I’m rambling at this point.

I’ve also been tempted to start writing on TV series in some capacity, but I can’t see myself dedicating as much time to writing about them as movies or games. TV shows are just a bigger, more demanding commitment. By the time it would take to watch one season of most TV shows and write one review on it, I could watch several movies or play several games and crank out a ton of reviews. TV shows are still something I would like to write about to some degree though, particularly after I’ve fallen in love with Twin Peaks over this past Summer (which explains the sudden boom of Twin Peaks gifs around here). Maybe for my tippy-toppy favorite shows, I’ll write a thing or two here and there.

I’ve also been tempted to share some of my creative writing or drawing on here. But I don’t know about that. I’m no great artist by any stretch, but I love to draw the silly little characters and creatures that spawn from my mind. Perhaps I could share some of my concept sketches for potential video game ideas? I don’t know. I’m rambling again.

Wow, this is the most boring milestone post ever! I’m just going on and on about the things I might do with this site. Geez, I’ve probably put anyone reading this to sleep before they even made it halfway to this point.

Well, I better wrap tis up before things grow even more dull. So once again, I give a big thanks to all you lovely people who continue to help my site grow, and make my writing worthwhile. I hope you look forward to all the video game and movie reviews I have lined up, and whatever other crap I decide to write as well. And I hope you look forward to whatever other creative endeavors the future holds for me.

Keep on keepin’ on.

Let’s end things with the Samurai Pizza Cats theme song!

I Has a SNES Classic!

Huzzah! I hath managed to snag an SNES Classic Edition! Or SNES Mini… whatever you wanna call it.

Okay, I still have an original SNES (it’s still positioned just to the left of my Switch seen in this picture), but seeing as it’s my favorite console of all time, and the most timeless video game console yet created, I just had to have this special item.

Getting a hold of one of these babies wasn’t easy though, as my sleep depravation and noodle-like legs from waiting in long lines will attest to. I had to try a couple of different stores before I ended up getting one (I got the 15th console out of an available 19 at the location I got mine). Yeesh, I really wish Nintendo could just meet the demand for their products for once.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing this isn’t to brag about the fact that I actually managed to get an SNES Classic, but just to say that I plan on writing some reviews for many of the games included in the SNES Classic. Obviously, I’ve already reviewed some of the games included in the console (Including a perfect 10 review for Super Mario World), but a good chunk of the games included are classics I have yet to cover on this site. So expect that to change soon, with reviews for such revered games as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy III, Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG, and basically all the others that I haven’t already reviewed. It will be over time, of course, I still need to finish reviewing the games of Rare Replay, and there are a few contemporary releases I hope to review in the coming months. I also plan on finally reviewing GameCube games, starting with Super Mario Sunshine. Seeing as Odyssey will be a return to the “sandbox style” of Super Mario 64 and Sunshine, it just seems like a good time.

So yeah, expect some more SNES reviews in the coming weeks. I’m happy to own the SNES Classic Edition… even if it does come with the baffling exclusions of Donkey Kong Country 2 and Chrono Trigger! Seriously, why aren’t they on there? Both were among the best games on the console, and some of the best of all time! Okay, so I suppose in the case of Chrono Trigger, Square-Enix might have been their usual, Square-Enix selves and wouldn’t allow it (I’m actually pretty shocked the SNES Classic includes Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy III, to be honest). But there’s no excuse I can think of for DKC2’s omission. It’s Donkey Kong! One of Nintendo’s own franchises! They own it! How can it not…

*Ahem!*

Excuse me. I kind of lost my cool there… Anyway…

I’ll try to get to some of those SNES reviews ASAP. Between them and those other reviews I mentioned, I have my next few months of game reviews covered. I’ll even try to get to reviewing Chrono Trigger soon, seeing as I have the DS version staring me in the face (I still want it on the SNES Classic though). As for DKC2, well, it sucks that what is probably my favorite 2D platformer isn’t on the SNES Classic, but you can always enjoy the review I wrote of it on the game’s 20th anniversary (which is another of the very few 10/10s I’ve dished out).

Oh, and one more thing. Although I have a crap-ton of video games I need to get to reviewing, I still plan on increasing my output of movie reviews. Because I’m crazy.