Tag Archives: Wizard Dojo

I Has a Xbox One!

“Behold, my Xbox One! And…the reflection of my Banjo-Kazooie poster.”

Thanks to the generosity of my cousin, I am now the owner of an Xbox One! But I’m not writing this to brag about adding another console to my collection, but because this now means I’ll be reviewing some Xbox One games!

Now, admittedly, there aren’t as many games on the Xbox One that I’m as interested in as the Playstation 4 or Nintendo Switch (or the Wii U…may it rest in peace). But there are definitely a few games I’ve really been wanting to review for the system, as well as some on the horizon (Cuphead, for example).

My cousin also gave me his copy of The Master Chief Collection, and I picked up a copy of Rare Replay. So now I can review (most of) the Halo games without having to re-buy the previous Xbox consoles, and a good slew of old Rare games (some of which I admittedly already own in their original forms, but many others I don’t). Granted, I still need to get some original Xbox One games to review, but what I have for the system already gives me a large amount of upcoming reviews on their own.

Again, as far as gaming goes, I think the PS4 and Switch (and the SNES, always the SNES) will remain my main focuses here at the Dojo. But it’s great to finally be able to catch up on what the Xbox One has to offer.

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About That Fork in the Road (to my List of Favorite Video Games)…

This is the last time. This is the last time I’m going to bring up my eventual list of favorite before I actually get to finalizing it (probably…no promises).

Okay, I’m not going to repeat myself entirely, so I suggest reading my last entry about the two different types of lists I could make. And then come back here and read the rest of this.

Seeing as I’ve played many games that have left some sort of impact on me or another, figuring out ways to narrow them down and pick what goes where can be difficult. And as I’ve stated ad nauseam, this will be the first time I’ve “officially” made such a list and I want to get it right. Yadda yadda yadda.

Though my aforementioned last post about this more or less explained the two different types of list I could make: one focusing on the quality of my favorite games alone dictating their placement, no matter how heavily it may favor a specific series or platform; and another list that can find ways to “cheat,” like placing certain games in a tie or selecting fewer representatives of franchises and such as to make a list that better showcases my more eclectic experience in gaming.

In the last post, I also asked my dear readers if they had any preference in which route I should take. Though the first “quality-only” based list is the type that would usually fit my personality (I’m very much the exceptionalist), there are some perks to the second, “eclectic” list.

If I go with the first option, I will probably keep the list simple at 20 games, composed entirely of 9.5 and 10-scoring games, though it’s possible I could add an additional 10 games (bringing the total to 30. That’s math!) to fit in the rest of the games I’d score similarly, plus a select few 9.0s. The second option would pretty much definitely be 30 games, and may not necessarily include every 9.5 or perfect 10, since they could potentially be condensed (I’ve scored Super Mario World a 10 and Super Mario Bros. 3 a 9.5, and since World outweighs SMB3 in my opinion, World could represent both).

Of course, now that I’m writing this, I find myself favoring the first option more and more. But I still see the benefits of the second option.

So I’ll ask this one more time, and then I promise (more or less) that I’m going to shut up about this until I’m properly making the list: Which route do you think I should take? Now, again, these are my favorite games, and my list, so the final decision is mine and mine alone. But since I’ve had so much trouble compiling this damn thing, I’d figured I’d ask my faithful readers one more time which list they’d prefer, with their input hopefully helping me make a decision.

Option 1: Quality and personal regard above all else (and should it be 20 or 30 titles).

Option 2: A little more variety.

 

Alright, that’s that. Next time I talk about this, I’ll be in the process of finalizing the list.

 

What’s that? You think I’m only writing this again because I haven’t written a blog in a week’s time and I needed something to write? Oh, you!

 

The Wizard Dojo/After Story Gaming Alliance!

Well, here’s something different. After numerous threats a quick discussion, I have coerced managed to get some additional help here at the Dojo. Fellow blogger Alex of AfterStoryGaming, longtime reader and commenter here at Wizard Dojo, will now be using his writing abilities to contribute some reviews and other stuff to the Dojo!

This marks the first time someone other than myself will be writing for this site, which is kind of a big deal. Truth be told, I had planned to get some help from others some time ago, but wanted to keep this site to myself for a while longer. But I feel I’m now at a point where I can open the Dojo’s doors to additional writers. Granted, I’m not going anywhere, and I’m sure most of the content on this site will be from yours truly. But it’s great to finally be getting some additional content from someone else here at the Dojo.

I hope to eventually get even more people to contribute to Wizard Dojo from time to time, especially once I really start getting serious with developing that game I keep meaning to develop.

“Me, learning game development.”

 

So now you can not only enjoy my video game and movie reviews and general, rambling nonsense here at Wizard Dojo, but also those from a different individual as well!

You can check out Alex’s site, AfterStoryGaming, to get an idea of the great, detailed work he brings to the table. Happy to have you onboard, you scallywag! I can see this collaboration going places!

 

“This collaboration may soon end up something like this.

A Fork in the Road (to my List of Favorite Video Games)

Ah crap! Am I really writing about my ever-elusive list of favorite video games again? Geez, even I’m sick of it at this point.

But I’m going to write about it some more anyway.

Basically, I have two different routes I could take my eventual list (which I’m still planning on writing sometime in early 2018): One of which simply focuses on which games I think are the “best” of my favorites, and to rank them as best as possible according to that. The second method would make the list better represent my more versatile history as a gamer, while still taking the aforementioned “best” method into account to a certain degree.

To better explain the difference between the two, while both lists would be composed of the games I’d score a 10/10 and 9.5/10 (and maybe some 9.0s, depending on whether I settle on a list of 30 or 20 games), the former list would simply weigh the games against one another based on how I’d rank them against the games that I’d rate similarly, while the later would be a little more lenient to which games make the cut by incorporating a few limitations.

For example, the former list might include both Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 as two separate entries, while the latter list might list one of those titles to represent both, or simply place them both in the same position as a tie or something.

Being the exceptionalist that I am, I don’t agree with the whole “one game per franchise” method or anything like that, since I think it just holds back more deserving games while placing less deserving games higher up than they should be, but I would also like to finally make the damn list, and to have it represent my varied history with gaming to some degree (either way, Mario will have a few spots on the list, with the latter method serving as a means to narrow things down a little so I can actually get the list done).

So basically, my usual attitude would have me leaning towards the “flat-out best” style of list, but I also feel that seems a tad bit mechanical. And since this will eventually be a list of favorites, mechanical isn’t exactly the way I’d like it to be described. But I also don’t want to feel like I’m doing the exact thing I hate, and holding back exceptional works for the sake of variety.

In short, do you, my faithful readers, have a preference as to which method I should use? And yes, it is my list, so I have the finally say (obviously), but maybe hearing some suggestions and feedback might help me get one step further to finally following through with the damn thing. Because I hate not following through with damn things.

Yeah yeah, I am well aware that I’m way overthinking this. I’ve gone through this before, I just want to make a solid list that represents my views and history with gaming the first time around, so that I won’t have need to revise it for a good while. And I know you’re probably wondering why it’s so hard for me to think of my favorite games, but it actually isn’t. It’s ranking them that’s the issue.

So what do you think?

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.